Courses

Spring 2020

ISS 125L/VMS 125L: Foundations of Game Design
Time: MW 4:40-5:55 PM
Location: Game Lab (Link Classroom 6)
Instructor: Marshall Miller
Description: 

Games have a growing presence in today’s world but where do they come from? How do game designers create meaningful play experiences and what are their responsibilities as creators? The proposed course will focus on games as designed experiences. Students will explore a diverse range of contemporary games while learning the theoretical approaches to game design, thus enabling them to decompose games into the elements, interactions, and themes that produce meaningful systems of play. Students will participate in frequent game design activities, learning how to adapt and modify game systems to alter play outcomes and enhance player experiences. Students will also complete team-based game design projects (including: generation of game ideas, navigation of design constraints, prototyping and playtesting, and refinement) to familiarize them with the iterative process of game design and to provide opportunities for reflection and growth across multiple game design cycles.

While the scope of the proposed course is limited to the analysis and design of analogue games, it will introduce theoretical frameworks, concepts, and approaches that are fully transferable and equally fundamental to digital game design.  Student assessment will focus heavily on participation and documentation of students’ individual and collaborative design processes to evidence their engagement with and application of core course content.  Documentation will take the form of team design diaries, describing the development of their game design projects, and personal design notebooks, in which students record their game play experiences and game design ideas throughout the semester.  Ultimately, the proposed course will prepare students to critically consume game media and design meaningful games and interactive experiences, as well as serve as a point-of-entry to game studies and design.
AMES 240S/ LIT 440S/ POLSCI 440S/ ICS 440S/ CULANTH 440S/ VMS 255S: Games and Culture
GRAD: ISS 770S/CMAC 770S
Time: TTh 10:05 – 11:20 AM
Location: Game Lab (Link Classroom 6)
Instructors: Leo Ching, Shai Ginsburg
Description:

In this class, we will take games seriously. We will examine games from a broad perspective: historical, sociological, political, military, literary and more in an attempt to chart the varied uses (and abuses) of games today.  Two questions will be guiding us in the course of the semester. One, what can we learn from games and the pleasure they give us about our cultures and societies? And two, can we harness games and pleasure to enhance pedagogy, broadly defined? We will pay particular attention to game design and explore the ways such design shapes not only our experience of the game, but also of the world. We will ask how the understanding of game design enhances our understanding of cultural and political dynamics. We will also ask whether such design could be introduced to the college classroom to produce better understanding of culture and society. The course is made up of both playing games of various kinds and reading scholarship about games. It has four major components: 1. Short analogue games (in class). 2. Long analogue games (assignment). 3. Short, medium, and long-length digital games (assignment). 3. Readings and discussions.
ISS 270S/ ISS 770S/ CMAC 770S: Immersive Virtual Worlds
Time: W 10:05 AM - 12:35 PM
Location: Game Lab (Link Classroom 6)
Instructor: Augustus Wendel
Description:

Theory, practice, and creation of 3D virtual worlds. Hands-on design and development of online collaborative simulation environments. Introduction to graphics workflow for creating virtual world media assets. Critical exploration of state-of-the-art virtual world technologies; 3D graphics, chat, voice, video, and mixed reality systems. Topics include: history/culture of virtual worlds, identity and avatars; behavioral norms; self-organizing cultures; user-generated content, virtual world economies; architectural scalability
ISS 315/VMS 304/ARTHIST 315: Mapping History with GIS
GRAD: CMAC 715/ISS 7015
Time: M 10:05AM - 12:35PM
Location: Game Lab (Link Classroom 6)
Instructor: Edward Triplett
Description: 

	
Beginner/intermediate Geographic Information System (GIS) course designed to help students learn how to investigate history spatially. Emphasizes perspectives, procedures, and tools that are relevant to applications of GIS in Art History and Humanistic disciplines. Designed as a hybrid lecture/lab format in which direct instruction is supplemented by hands on learning labs using ArcGIS software and real-world spatial data. The main skills students will gain are: integration of spatial and tabular data, geoprocessing, data visualization, creating features, editing features, vector and raster integration, spatial analysis, georeferencing
ARTHIST 225/MEDREN 215: Gothic Cathedrals
Time: TTH 3:05PM - 4:20PM
Location: Game Lab (Link Classroom 6)
Instructor: Edward Triplett
Description: 
	
Great cathedrals of Europe in England, Germany, and Italy, with a special focus on France, from roughly 1140 to 1270, and their construction, financing, and role in the fabric of medieval city life. The urban context of each city, the history of the site and its relics, and the artistic and technological developments that made the construction of these complex and large-scale structures possible. A consideration of Romanesque precedents and the origins of the various structural elements of Gothic architecture.